Bullet Proof Seats
Save Police Departments Big Money
By Ed Jacques, LEJ Editor
Let’s describe a scene that is all too familiar to law enforcement personnel. It’s the unavoidable, ever present hole in the vehicle seat… and you can bet that it is present in many law enforcement vehicles in the country. It’s a nightmare for fleet managers, an eyesore and uncomfortable for patrol officers and the major reason why many used police vehicles fetch a lower price at auction. These holes start out as just a fray along the seat threading or a small tear in the upholstery, but you can bet that over time the small hole will grow into one that eventually exposes the foam core and in many cases the seat’s metal support bar. That type of extensive damage will often require the vehicle to be taken out of service for repair because the possibility of an officer’s gun belt being caught up in their seat is not an acceptable situation while on duty. Top notch engineer Joseph Basmaji teamed up with local POAM members to see if they could develop a solution that would benefit the officers and the administration. The answer was right underneath every police officers nose; err should I say shirt uniform. The developers realized that they had to start out with a traditional style seat cover incorporating a much more durable fabric to resist the wear and tear of an officer’s duty belt. The team tested and escalated the strength of five different fabrics before being convinced that the proper application would be military grade ballistic Kevlar-the same fabric used for most bullet proof vests. The material did pose some additional challenges in the prototype and marketing process. The manufacturer ruined many types of metal shears when cutting the fabric and now utilizes diamond tip carbide scissors. Although the material costs more than the team had originally projected, there was no way they were going to compromise the seat cover’s integrity. In the end, Basmaji was able to negotiate significant savings in the manufacturing process based on future sales volume. What the developmental engineers ended up with was a product that: Resisted any an all wear, tear and puncturing of the seat.
Was durable in a multi-use application that allows users
to easily transfer the seat cover to similar vehicles. Improved heat absorption, had superior stain resistance, and was machine washable.
Could be individually customized for Crown Victorias, Chargers, Expeditions and Impalas.
Is affordable and made in the USA.
Basmaji and the team now needed to market this great new product. They applied for a patent under the name “Wraptor SKIN” and began calling on police departments in Southeast Michigan to experience the benefits of Wraptor Skin technology. Walled Lake Police Officer and POA President Anthony Noble has taken product orders from some surrounding departments, including his own as well as recently returning from a trip to Boston, Massachusetts where the police department’s fleet manager has purchased a limited number of the product for a trial period. “Any department that hangs on to their police cruisers for any length of time immediately sees the value in our product,” said Noble. “And if anything ever penetrates the fabric in any fashion, Wraptor Skin will immediately replace the seat covers at no cost, with no questions asked.” To seal the deal, in typical Billy Mays fashion, Noble runs his knife across the impenetrable seat for additional impact. Wraptor Skin has now been in use for many months in many departments without a single problem. When you consider the fact that the average patrol officer gets out and back in their scout car between twenty-five and fifty times during a 12-hour shift, that’s some significant on-the-job test results. Since so much time is spent in a squad car, officer moral and the general upkeep of vehicles will improve. But the real selling point is the undeniable fact that the used police vehicles will bring significantly more at auction, saving municipalities thousands of dollars per vehicle. Besides the obvious cost of replacing the seat, the tore up “butt bucket” gives potential bidders at auction the impression the vehicle was driven much harder than it actually was. It’s pretty simple math, states Basmaji. “A couple thousand dollars saved in resale subtracted by a few hundred dollars product cost multiplied by the number of vehicles in a fleet equals tremendous savings.” And the kicker-the department pulls the Wraptor Skin before auction and installs it on the new vehicle. It’s an easy procedure. Now that police departments are all under tight budget constraints and in most cases are required to keep squad cars in service longer, the need to preserve a vehicle is even more imperative as every dollar counts in this economy. An officer’s safety or ability to respond quickly must never be compromised by their duty belt getting snagged on their car seat. This innovative new product solves both of those problems, with style.
Wraptor Industries can be reached at (248) 229-3393 or visit them on line at www.wraptorindustries.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.